Best Laptop for SketchUp in 2023

Laptop screen with SketchUp

As an avid SketchUp user and someone who's spent countless hours modeling and rendering, I know how essential it is to find the best laptop for SketchUp. In this guide, I'll help you navigate the process of choosing a laptop that's perfect for your needs, whether you're an architect, interior designer, or hobbyist.

The key to a seamless SketchUp experience lies in finding a laptop that can handle the program's unique requirements. Graphics performance is crucial, as SketchUp relies heavily on the GPU for smooth navigation and rendering. Additionally, a high-quality display is indispensable for accurately evaluating colors and materials, while a fast processor and ample RAM ensure that complex models won't slow you down.

After reviewing an extensive spreadsheet of recent laptop releases, comparing specs and reviews (both professional and user-generated), I've narrowed down the top laptops for SketchUp based on specific requirements and various price ranges. Throughout this guide, we'll explore options that cater to different levels of expertise, from casual users to professional architects working on large-scale projects. So, let's dive in and find the best laptop for SketchUp that will elevate your 3D modeling experience to new heights.

Picking a good processor

Intel Core i3 CPU on motherboard

In late 2022, the laptop market is more diverse than ever, with Intel's 13th-gen processors on their way and Apple's new M1 chips offering exceptional single-core performance and battery life. If you're looking to invest in a laptop for SketchUp, you have plenty of options – from budget to high-end.

First off, consider your budget and what you plan to do with your laptop. Do you need a fast processor for light photo editing? Are you looking for an affordable option with good portability? Or are you looking for a high-end processor to ensure a laptop that will last 3 years?

If you're on a budget, then AMD Ryzen 3 3200U is your best bet. For an average laptop that can handle light photo editing tasks, Intel's i3-10110U is a good choice. And if you need serious performance and want the best of the best, look no further than Intel's i5-10210U.

Regardless of what processor you choose, benchmarking tools such as Cinebench and PassMark are a great way to compare different processors from various manufacturers. Check out the table below to help you decide which processor is right for your needs.

Price bracket Processor
Budget AMD Ryzen 3 3200U
Average Intel i3-10110U
High-end Intel i5-10210U1, AMD Ryzen 5 5600H

1 Apple's M1 processor offers similar performance but will limit the range of apps and software you can use on the machine.

Choosing the right graphics for SketcUp

With the rise of new technologies in the past few years, the laptop GPU market has seen some significant changes. For example, Nvidia recently released a few RTX 40 series cards, but these are not yet available on laptops. This means that laptop buyers need to settle for RTX 30 series graphics chips, such as the RTX 3070 Ti. It also means that desktop GPUs are now a lot more power-hungry compared to laptops, widening the gap between laptop and desktop GPUs.

Fortunately, you don't need a dedicated GPU for SketchUp. This 3D modeling tool is quite forgiving when it comes to hardware requirements, so most mid-range graphics chips should be able to handle the task. However, if you plan on using SketchUp for rendering with V-Ray, Octane, Arnold or Redshift, you'll need a dedicated graphics card.

So, what do you need to look for in a laptop graphics card? Performance benchmarks like 3DMark and Unigine Heaven can give you an idea of how a graphics chip will perform in different workloads. When shopping around, I recommend checking out benchmarks such as these to get an accurate idea of performance expectations.

If you're looking for a gaming laptop, you'll want a higher refresh rate panel (90 Hz+) and should invest in a high-end GPU such as a GTX 1660 Ti or AMD RX 5700.

Here's a list of recommended GPUs by price range:

Price Range Average Laptop Prices Recommended GPUs
Entry-level $500-1000 Iris Xe Graphics G7
Mid-range $1000-1500 Quadro T500
High-end >$1500 GeForce MX550

How to choose the right memory that will work optimally with SketcUp?

The RAM requirement for SketchUp is not too demanding, so you don't need to go for a top-of-the-line laptop. 8GB of RAM should be enough for basic tasks. If you're doing more complex tasks or have other applications open at the same time, 16 GB of RAM is the recommended minimum. For high-end performance and large projects, 32 GB or more would be ideal.

When it comes to RAM speed, the current market standard is DDR4, and the newer DDR5 is still expensive and needs time to mature as a technology. The RAM speed is no longer a critical factor in the performance of a laptop, so don't stress about it too much.

Unraveling the Mysteries: SketchUp Laptop FAQ

Q: What are the recommended laptop specifications for SketchUp?

To have a smooth experience with SketchUp, we recommend a laptop with at least an AMD Ryzen 3 3200U processor, 8 GB of memory, and Iris Xe Graphics G7. These specs will allow you to run SketchUp without any major performance hiccups.

Can SketchUp be run on a laptop?

Yes, SketchUp can be run on a laptop. In fact, it is a popular choice for architects, designers, and hobbyists who need a portable solution for their 3D modeling needs.

Which laptops are best for running SketchUp?

The best laptops for running SketchUp depend on your budget and performance requirements. However, we have a few recommendations:

  1. Lenovo ThinkPad P16 G1 ($60): This is a budget-friendly option that meets the minimum requirements for SketchUp.

  2. ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325EA-EH71 ($730): This mid-range laptop offers a good balance of performance and price.

  3. HP 17 (RECOMMENDATIONS_ALL,330): This laptop is a great choice for SketchUp enthusiasts who need more power.

  4. Apple MacBook Pro 14 (RECOMMENDATIONS_ALL,930): If you prefer macOS, this MacBook Pro variant provides excellent performance for SketchUp.

  5. Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16 ($3,390): For those who demand the utmost power and performance, this high-end gaming laptop delivers.

How much RAM do I need for SketchUp on a laptop?

The recommended amount of RAM for running SketchUp on a laptop is 8 GB. However, if you work with complex models or frequently multitask, upgrading to 16 GB would provide a smoother experience.

What graphics card is recommended for SketchUp on a laptop?

For SketchUp, we recommend a laptop with at least Iris Xe Graphics G7. This integrated graphics solution provides sufficient power for most SketchUp projects. If you're working with larger models or require advanced rendering, upgrading to a Quadro T500 or GeForce MX550 would be beneficial.

Is an SSD necessary for running SketchUp on a laptop?

While an SSD (Solid State Drive) is not strictly necessary, it is highly recommended for running SketchUp on a laptop. An SSD improves overall system responsiveness, significantly reduces loading times, and allows for faster file transfers. It can greatly enhance your productivity when working with large models or multiple projects.

Can SketchUp run smoothly on a budget laptop?

Yes, SketchUp can run smoothly on a budget laptop that meets the minimum requirements. For example, the Lenovo ThinkPad P16 G1, available at an affordable price of $60, is capable of handling SketchUp without breaking the bank.

What processor is recommended for SketchUp on a laptop?

For optimal performance in SketchUp, we recommend a laptop with at least an i3-10110U processor. This processor provides a good balance between affordability and performance. If you prefer more power, upgrading to an i5-10210U would be a wise choice.

Are gaming laptops good for running SketchUp?

Gaming laptops can be a good choice for running SketchUp, especially if you require higher performance for demanding projects. Many gaming laptops are equipped with powerful processors, dedicated graphics cards, and ample memory, making them well-suited for running SketchUp smoothly. However, keep in mind that gaming laptops often come at a premium price compared to non-gaming counterparts.

How to choose a laptop for SketchUp?

When choosing a laptop for SketchUp, consider the following factors:

  • Processor: Aim for at least an i3-10110U processor or better for a smooth experience.
  • Memory: 8 GB is the minimum requirement, but consider upgrading to 16 GB if you work with complex models.
  • Graphics: Iris Xe Graphics G7 is the minimum recommendation, but consider a Quadro T500 or GeForce MX550 for advanced rendering.
  • Storage: An SSD is highly recommended for faster loading times and file transfers.
  • Budget: Determine your budget and find a laptop that meets your requirements within that range.

By considering these factors, you can find a laptop that provides the optimal balance of performance and affordability for your SketchUp needs.

5 Best Laptops for SketchUp

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Lenovo ThinkPad P16 G1 $60
i7-12800HX | RTX A1000 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 16″; 3840x2400 |

1.Lenovo ThinkPad P16 G1

SketchUp laptop
  • Excellent processor (i7-12800HX)
  • Excellent display (16)
  • Excellent memory amount (64GB)
  • Enormous 4TB SSD
  • No IPS Panel (worse contrast)
  • Its screen gives away its price
LG Gram 16 2-in-1 $60
LG Gram 16 2-in-1
  • Sufficient display (16)
  • Featherweight (3.26 lbs)
  • Not the best memory amount (32GB)
  • No IPS Panel (worse contrast)
ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325EA-EH71 $730
i7-1165G7 | Iris Xe Graphics G7 96EUs | 8 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 13.3″ OLED; 1920x1080 |

2.ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325EA-EH71

ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325EA-EH71: Sleek and Powerful, with a Few Drawbacks.
  • Sleek, lightweight frame
  • Powerful overall and gaming performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Very comfortable keyboard
  • Weak speakers
  • Display could be brighter
  • No headphone jack

The ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325EA-EH71 impresses with its sleek design and powerful performance, thanks to Intel's new 11th Gen chips. It offers excellent battery life and a comfortable keyboard. However, it falls short in terms of weak speakers, a display that could be brighter, and the absence of a headphone jack.

HP 17 $920
HP 17
  • Awesome processor (i5-1235U)
  • Solid memory amount (64GB)
  • No IPS Panel (inferior color reproduction)
HP 17 $1,330
i7-1255U | Iris Xe Graphics | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 17.3″ Touch; 1600x900 |

3.HP 17

SketchUp laptop
  • Exceptional memory amount (64GB)
  • Featherweight (0.37 lbs)
  • Massive 4TB SSD
  • Numpad
  • Garden-variety processor (i7-1255U)
  • No IPS Panel (limited viewing angles)
Apple MacBook Air M2 $1,350
Apple MacBook Air M2
  • Sleek and slim design
  • Powerful performance
  • Higher starting price
  • Limited port options
Apple MacBook Pro 14 $1,930
Apple M1 Pro 8 core | Apple M1 Pro GPU | 16 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 14.2″ mini-LED HDR; 3024x1964 |

4.Apple MacBook Pro 14

Apple MacBook Pro 14: Powerful performance and stunning display, but some functional and connectivity issues.
  • High-quality and sturdy chassis
  • Great display with accurate colors and high HDR brightness
  • Very quiet fans
  • Very high system performance with efficient M1 Max SoC
  • Notch affects aesthetics and has functional issues
  • SDR brightness limited to 500 nits
  • Constant PWM flickering and slow response times
  • M1 Max is limited in combined CPUGPU workloads

The Apple MacBook Pro 14 offers impressive performance and a beautiful display with accurate colors. The M1 Max SoC provides efficient processing power, and the laptop boasts a long battery runtime. However, it has some drawbacks including a notch that affects both aesthetics and functionality, limited SDR brightness, and connectivity limitations.

ASUS ROG Strix Scar $2,050
ASUS ROG Strix Scar
  • Sturdy construction
  • Fast Wi-Fi 6E
  • Limited display angle
  • No biometric login
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16 $3,390
i9-13900HX | RTX 4090 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 16″ HDR; 2560x1600 |

5.Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8: A powerful laptop for SketchUp with a few drawbacks.
  • Strong overall performance
  • Big, bright, and fast display
  • Per-key RGB lighting
  • Some flex to keyboard deck
  • Poor battery life

The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i Gen 8 is a powerful laptop equipped with a 13th-gen Core i9 CPU and RTX 4090 graphics, making it a great choice for running SketchUp. It offers strong overall performance, a big and vibrant display, and per-key RGB lighting. However, it does have some drawbacks including a slightly flexible keyboard deck and poor battery life.

HP Omen 17 $4,290
HP Omen 17
  • QHD display with 165 Hz
  • Expandable working memory
  • Slightly below-average performance for a RTX 4080
  • High noise level

Table of the Best Laptops for SketchUp

LaptopPrice (approx)
Lenovo ThinkPad P16 G1$60
ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325EA-EH71$730
HP 17$1,330
Apple MacBook Pro 14$1,930
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16$3,390
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John Winsteler
I'm a seasoned tech writer with a background in Computer Science, dedicated to demystifying the digital realm for readers. With years of experience in the IT industry, I delve into the heart of technological advancements, helping you navigate the evolving world of laptops and computing with ease. Whether you're tech-savvy or a digital novice, my articles aim to guide you in making informed laptop investments tailored to your needs.